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ISU researchers awarded $195,000 NSF grant to support fundamental studies on novel bimetallic complexes

Posted September 26, 2011

The National Science Foundation has awarded $195,000 to Idaho State University chemistry department researchers, Associate Professor Joshua Pak and Assistant Professor Andrew Holland, to carry out fundamental studies on novel bimetallic complexes.

Pak and Holland, along with ISU chemistry Professor Rene Rodriguez, have been engaged in research examining using nanoparticles to create next generation solar cells at a cheaper cost – with the help of university and high school students.

Along with collaborators at Rice University in Houston, Texas, the ISU researchers are using this newest NSF grant to will study how particular types of bimetallic compounds can be generated efficiently.  Then, they can be used to prepare high-quality nanoparticles that could potentially be used to efficiently capture sun's energy. The title of the new grant is "RUI-SYN: I-III Bimetallic Complexes: a General Entry to I-III-VI Semiconductors."

The researchers at both institutions will involve university undergraduate and graduate students and high school students through the American Chemical Society (ACS) Project SEED Program.

The ACS Project SEED Project SEED was established in 1968 to help economically disadvantaged high school students expand their education and career outlook. The program provides opportunities for students who historically lack exposure to scientific careers to spend a summer conducting hands-on research with a scientist in academic, industry, and government research laboratories. Students receive a fellowship award for their efforts and a chance to receive a SEED college scholarship, and generally participate in an eight to ten-week program.

"Fundamental understanding of how these bimetallic complexes form and their reaction mechanisms may allow tailored preparation of the corresponding nanomaterials for next-generation solar cells and other devices," Pak said.

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